Grundfos works with Sunderland College to find apprentices

Grundfos regularly offers training opportunities – last year the company hired four young people and this year it is looking to attract six to work at its Castletown plant.

The Danish company is the world’s leading pump manufacturer and employs more than 18,000 people worldwide. The company opened a plant in Wearside in 1973 and today employs more than 150 people at the Castletown site.

Apprentices typically spend their first eight to nine months at college and then switch to a day-off model, where they work four days a week at Grundfos and then spend a fifth day in a college classroom or workshop.

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Catherine Attwell, Human Resources Director at Grundfos, said: “We take training very seriously and a large percentage of our workforce have completed our training program – including our European operations manager, Mark Lister, and other senior managers.”

“The college selects candidates for us and then we interview them – we look for qualities like positive thinking, team players and candidates with good grades.

“We have enjoyed working with the education team at Sunderland College who make the process pleasant and easy and we are confident they will send us some quality candidates for the six places we have this year.

Emily Kirkup, 20, from Durham, is in her third year of a four-year Level 3 Engineering Technician course, while Robbie Crone, 18, from South Shields, has recently completed an 18-month Level 3 Business Administration course. Callum Quarrie, 20, from Newcastle, is expected to complete his four-year Level 3 Manufacturing Engineering course in July.

All three said they enjoyed their apprenticeship at Grundfos – Robbie is already transitioning into a full-time position as an Associate Planner, while Emily and Callum hope to find full-time employment at Grundfos once they have completed their qualification.

Emily, who had already completed an advanced manufacturing qualification at New College Durham before starting her apprenticeship at Grundfos, was the company’s first female manufacturing apprentice to join the engineer/fitter program for production workers.

She said: “I have enjoyed my time here so far and have always felt part of the team.”

Robbie was quick to praise Grundfos’ apprentice mentoring scheme, which puts an experienced employee alongside each apprentice: “The mentoring scheme works really well here, they’re always there to help, check on you and want to know how you are goes.” .

“The interview process was smooth and we were able to walk the people through from the beginning, which made it easier for us to get into the roles and the factory.”

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Iain Nixon, Associate Director, Partnerships and Promotion at Education Partnership North East, which includes Sunderland College, said: “The College is grateful to have worked with Grundfos for a number of years. During this time we have supported Grundfos in recruiting and training apprentices for various positions across the company.

These current training positions offer applicants great opportunities for starting a career with one of the top employers in the region. We look forward to welcoming the six new trainees to our programs in September.” Grundfos works with Sunderland College to find apprentices

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